Don't wait to feel confident, start practicing today......
1. Notice the Things You Like
We're conditioned to look in the mirror and focus on things we don't like, but it's essential to be able to notice the things we do like. Whether it's your skin, the colour of your eyes or the shape of your lips, appreciate it every time you look at yourself.
2. Focus on Today
I'm always hearing women say that when they look at photos of themselves when they were younger, they can't believe they were so beautiful and didn't know it. You will never again be exactly the fabulous you that you are today, so stop trying to turn the clock back and enjoy it where it is.
3. Value Your Character
Don't distil your self-worth down to how you look. Very few of the world's most amazing, charismatic people are physically beautiful as well. Their attractiveness is in their personality, passion or kindness, and so is yours.
4. Invest in the Inner You
Research shows that if your opinion of yourself includes not just your appearance but the other things about you - maybe you can play the violin, you can speak French or you're a wonderful friend - you'll have more consistently high self-esteem than someone who thinks the best thing about them is their skinny legs. Self-esteem should be related to what you can do, how well you can do it, the things that make you angry, the things that make you laugh and so on. It's about appreciating who you are, not just what you look like.
5. Be Physically Active
I have a little girl, and sports have always been a big part of her life. One reason for that is that I want her to see her body as functional, not aesthetic. She's really into judo and swimming, and when she's swimming she doesn't for a minute think about how she looks in her bathing suit. I want her to grow up thinking about how she loves the feel of the water - not wondering whether her bum looks big. People who are involved in sport tend to have better self-esteem. It's a different way of relating to your body.
6. You're Not an Object
Young women are constantly told that their value lies in their shell - their breasts, faces and legs. The more you're being told that the important thing is to look good, the more you begin to stand outside yourself to look at whether you're ok. You relate to yourself as an object, not as someone whose feelings and thoughts are important. There's very sad research from America that shows that when young women do this, they're much more likely to have bad body image, to be anorexic and to self-harm.
7. You're Not in a Competition
Our culture tells us that we must compete with other women. Don't buy into it. You're not in a beauty contest and being good-looking is not the same as being happy. Psychologists have found that people who are considered beautiful are just as likely to be unhappy as anyone else.
8. Define Your Own Beauty
There are so many different kinds of beauty - find the kind that means something to you and celebrate that. Don't look to magazines or adverts to tell you what's desirable. The reason why some people are icons is that they have defined their beauty on their own terms. Jennifer Lopez has the attitude, "This is the shape of my butt and I'm not getting liposuction." Cindy Crawford was proud to have a mole on her face and would not get it removed. Once you can say "This is who I am and I see beauty in it," so will others.